Teen Libraries

    Budgeting for young adult services is critical.   We need to bring our youth into our public libraries and give them the opportunity to discover all that a public library has to offer.   If we are unable to entice young adults into our libraries, our community will suffer.   Those that do not use the library as adolescents are not as likely to use libraries as adults.   In addition, as adults, these non-users will be less likely to support and fund a public library as voters.   A public library’s mission is to provide teens with information and reading services to allow them to transition to productive, educated adults within our society.   As noted in “Bare Bones Young Adult Services: Tips For Public Generalists” by Renee Vaillancourt:
For many people, adolescence is the first time they begin to think about the “big     issues” that will affect their future.   They begin to question their parents and other authority figures who have taught them what to believe and how to behave.   They start to form opinions for themselves.   For this reason, libraries need to provide unbiased information on a wide variety of topics so that young adults can gather the knowledge they so desperately need to develop and grown (2).

    In 1803, Caleb Bingham donated 150 books to the town of Salisbury, Connecticut.   These books were for children between the ages of nine and sixteen and in 1810, the Bingham Library for Youth was established by the citizens (Cramer, 61). This was the first instance where books in a public library were noted as being available for adolescents.   From then on, adolescents as library patrons have been an integral part of many public libraries.
    However, only in recent decades have some public libraries attempted to make libraries a welcome place for adolescents by providing them with an inviting area that allows them to develop and grow.   The design aspect for adolescent areas in libraries has changed along with our understanding of the adolescent...